The reality of eating disorder recovery

Hello flowers,

I am ever so sorry for my recent absence. I realise that I haven’t posted in a little while and before that I only posted recipes! I guess I will tell you a little bit about my past week. Things have been up and down. Mainly down unfortunately but it is imperative that I keep that positive mindset going. Food has been the best it has for years and years. I cook for my family twice a week, we have roast dinners every Sunday, I bake and eat my baking, I eat pizza, pudding every single day of ice cream or a sponge pudding and I have lunch out with my mum at least once every two weeks. These are things I would NEVER have dreamed of doing only five months ago. Five months ago I was in hospital and I woke up every day feeling dread, hatred and self loathing.

This is where the downside comes in. I see many many people who go through recovery and they eat and suddenly their whole life falls into place. They have a job, friends, they go out have generally have FUN. I always wanted to be that person, I always wanted to recover just like that. I think the reality is what I described above is very rare. The more common type of recovery is that one eats and engages in anorexia recovery 100% (me) but then then their mood plummets, they feel more depressed than ever, they are tired, they don’t want to do anything like go shopping, horse riding or the things we love. We think we hang on a second,we were told me all of these professionals and all of our loved ones that if we eat then things will get better. Our mood will increase, we will have energy etc etc.

This is NOT (always) the case. I know exactly what has happened with me and I wanted to tell you all because I don’t have a solution to this problem but it helps knowing what the problem is. Because when you are just sitting there with the worst thoughts ever, it is so frustrating because you don’t know WHY. And I hope that this will help some of you understand a little bit more. When we starve our bodies of the most important source that it needs to function, generally everything goes to pot. We feel physically unwell as well as mentally unwell. Our mood decreases but also something quite interesting happens to our mood. Our brains can’t function properly and when you are eating so little this is even more the case. Your body starts to shut down and when you have NO energy supplies, the body desperately tries to get energy from your muscles to keep your body working.

This is why when our body and brain is malnourished then if a situation happens, it will go over the top of you. You might care about it but you don’t have the time and energy to think about it. You don’t have the energy to make up a thought process of I am feeling happy/angry/sad because… So because of this when you do start eating again your brain CAN function properly. You have thoughts and feelings that are so loud you can’t switch them off. The fact is your thoughts never went, they were always the same but malnourishment caused them to be buried. And this brings me around into a full circle of why you developed anorexia in the first place. Maybe (like me) you had extremely low mood to begin with and of course the anorexia (or other eating disorder) hid that away because you are so consumed on food that you can’t think about anything else. And if this is the case then you know that your low mood that you are experiencing now, it’s just the same as before. It may feel like your mood has gotten a lot worse than when you were buried in anorexia but the truth it is no no worse than before you developed anorexia.

You have come around full circle. Anorexia never got rid of your low mood, anorexia never got rid of the situation as to why you became ill in the first place. It covered everything up so you wouldn’t have to think about it and now here you are faced with the problem again. Like I said above, I do not have a solution to this problem. It is difficult for me to talk about why I became ill in the first place. I don’t 100% know why actually. But the thing I want to improve now that my brain is functioning well is that I want to practice self love. I want to banish all of the awful thoughts I have about myself. I don’t like talking about me being bullied at school, it was an extremely difficult time for me. I now have the thoughts every single day that everyone hates me. Everyone hates me and they would be better of without me. THIS is what anorexia covered up and THIS is why I feel low. Anorexia didn’t just cover that up. It covered up way more than that but the point is I know what I need to improve on. I need to learn to love myself and I think that your first step could be learning to love yourself as well. You don’t have to know why you got poorly. You just have to know the catalyst. (low mood, low self worth etc.)

I really do hope that this helps a few of you. This is where I am at right now and it’s painful so painful but I know if I went back to anorexia I would have no chance of a peaceful life. I would be forever battling with my mind. It is just baby steps like it has been my whole recovery, one foot in front of the other.

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Challenging yourself in a healthy way

Hello everyone,

Today I wanted to talk to you all about challenging yourself in a HEALTHY way. I think that anyone with any type of mental illness has fallen victim to punishing themselves and setting themselves too high a goals which they cannot achieve. I know personally my goals were ridiculous, to be friends with everyone and to be happy and bubbly all of the time. So in the end I was exhausted and wearing myself out and my anorexia got stronger and stronger until I felt oh this is great, I am losing weight finally something I can be good at. Of course in time I found myself as unhappy as ever and so I entered recovery and have been trying to find new ways of challenging myself that do not include unachievable goals or physically and mentally harming myself.

This next week marks a very important week for me in my recovery because my parents left for France yesterday evening for 10 days. I got ever so anxious yesterday and when I get anxious I scream because I don’t let the thoughts come in. So I am just sat with an anxious feeling and I have no idea why. But yesterday was one of the easier times where I could link my anxiety to a big event and sometimes I can’t do that. So, after I had calmed down a little bit I thought to myself… This is a REALLY BIG positive step. I am challenging myself from being away from my mum so I have to take care and responsibility of my own recovery. This is a huge positive and healthy challenge because I am not going to be punishing myself and I have set myself an achievable goal and if I don’t quite manage then no harm is actually done. I am still going to feel accomplished because being away from my parents is already half of the challenged ticked already.

So I wanted to share with you a few other little challenges that I have/want to achieve. I do lots of planning of these kinds of challenges and it makes me feel SO GOOD once I have finished them. Like I didn’t know I could have such a confidence boost just by doing my favourite hobby regularly or doing homework tasks set by my therapist. You will see these goals are not entirely food related but some are because I like to have a mixture. The one thing they all have in common is health and well being related. Here are my goals:

  • To make my friendship bracelets whenever I have a few spare minutes in the day
  • To give in my job application forms (already done this one!)
  • To go horse riding as regularly as possible. I love horse riding but sometimes it’s a lot of effort to make myself go. Just because my negative voices are very loud and recently I seem to have lost interest in nearly all of my hobbies. But horse riding is something that actually makes me feel good about and it is a challenge to make myself go so that is why it is on here
  • To put effort into my mindfulness practice and to do it at least three times a week
  • To go back to college in September (That’s a huge one and I have knots in my stomach just thinking about it!)
  • To make the effort to have lunch out with any family member each week. This is an important one because I have found that I absolutely love having lunch with my mum. I can talk to her about therapy and any worries I might have and because it is at a time and day that we have planned to have lunch then I can plan what to say and I find that very useful because if we didn’t do that then there wouldn’t be another time that I feel more comfortable talking to her. Because at my house it is busy busy busy!
  • To make sure I keep writing to my pen pals
  • To make sure I look after myself. Wash my face, put a bit of make up on, use my perfume, use my favourite shower gel and body lotion. Hand cream and foot cream. When I was deep into my illness I wouldn’t do any of this. My hands and lips were completely cracked and bleeding because I refused to look after myself. Now I wake up feeling like I want to get out of bed and have a nice day just because it feels a bit nicer being in my skin.
  • To walk my dogs everyday

So those are all of my goals and challenges to make me feel like I have a purpose to my life and I am not just floating around doing nothing. I have ambitions and I want a proper life and hopefully my goals will help me towards that. What are your personal challenges/goals? I would love to hear them.

Vegetable pasta sauce

Hello everyone,

I have been so busy recently it appears and that makes me anxious because my energy levels are depleting fast. I wake up in the morning fresh as a daisy and then by 11:00 I am flagging and then by two I can’t move anymore. This is a problem that needs to be solved especially if I want to have a life for myself which I very much do want that more than anything! But apart from the tiredness everyday I feel quite chirpy today. So I wanted to share with you a recipe again! This is my tomato and vegetable pasta sauce and its so delicious I love it.

vegetable pasta sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 peppers any colour, deseeded and chopped
  • 2x400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar

What to do:

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently cook the onion, celery and carrots for around ten minutes. Add the peppers and cook for ten minutes more.Tip in the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Simmer for around 30-40 minutes.#
  2. Once the sauce is cooked blitz with a hand held blender. You could leave it chunky but I think it tastes nicer smooth and I prefer that texture.
  3. I got four portions out of this so it’s perfect to shove in the freezer so you have it to hand when you don’t feel like cooking.

Enjoy 🙂

Yesterday lunch

Hello everyone,

I shall be posting a recipe later on today but first I wanted to do a little post about my lunch that I had yesterday. Me and my mum love going out for lunch so we decided to make it a regular occurrence and we usually go once a week depending on how busy we both are. It’s lovely to spend some time with my mum and also I sometimes meet her before/after therapy so it puts me in a good mood. We have two favourite cafes now but we want to find new places to go because it’s always nice to go somewhere different!

The place I went to yesterday was actually a shop and they have a cafe on the top floor. I think lots of places do that now actually and I like going there because then I can look at all of the kitchen/craft stuff when I am finished 😉 Yesterday I felt like a toasted sandwich and I hadn’t actually seen them do toasted sandwiches before but maybe that is because I wasn’t looking? I chose a cheese and tomato toastie and it was delish.

Cheese and tomato toastie

And then for pudding we both got a cake and I got the coffee and walnut cake which is one of my favourite ever flavours. I have also had the chocolate brownie there before as well. I think I like my chocolate things 😉 I shall have to try the chocolate cake next time I go. I have always been eyeing it up but I think that saying you eat with your eyes is true. Because once my dad bought a cake slice and I just wouldn’t have chosen to eat it because it looked just a bit boring but I had it and it was actually very tasty. I don’t know I think that I do usually make such a fuss if my food doesn’t look tasty I think that is definitely something I need to work on! But I don’t think it is a specific eating disorder thing. I think it is a me being silly thing! Ramble over… Here was my cake.

Coffee and walnut cake

I did enjoy it but it was very very dense. It wasn’t light and fluffy and my mum said that my homemade cakes are 1000x better. I think a bake session is in order this weekend 😉 Something different will be happening next week. Something different and scary. On Tuesday I am going out for lunch but I am not going with my mum, I am going with my dad. Me and my dad have a difficult relationship and my illness has made it worse. The other day I was just talking with my dad and suddenly I asked him out for lunch. I am not one to be so forward but I did it and I am actually very proud. Me and my dad don’t really do anything together and if we do then my mum is always there. So I hope that this will be a good time to bond and also it will be out of the house and at my favourite cafe so I think (I hope) that I will feel relaxed because most times I don’t feel relaxed at home and that’s when the conflict starts.

I think I am making important steps and I am quite proud of myself which one day I won’t be ashamed of saying! Eating lunch out is getting a little bit easier each week and I think it just proves that if you try then you will succeed. I am aware that most people might not go out for lunch once a week but I think for me it is helping challenging myself and it helps putting an hour aside each week so me and my mum can have a good chat in a calm and relaxed environment which unfortunately is not home at the moment but it will be. Just take each day as it comes.

Homemade hummus and the mental health project introduction

Hello everyone,

I wanted to share with you one of the most simplest recipes ever. It is my homemade hummus and I have to warn you that it doesn’t taste like shop bought hummus BUT it’s still yummy and I always like making things for several reasons the first being just because it is a big hobby of mine and it’s much more satisfying making your own meal than whipping out something that is premade!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

What to do:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processer or you can use a hand blender or just mash by hand. Blend until it has made a smooth puree and then tadah you are done!
  2. Don’t freak out about the oil because olive oil is SO good for you. I am actually going to list all of the good things about fats because they are essential in the diet and people seem to be afraid of fats when they shouldn’t be because we need ALL nutrients to make up a BALANCED diet.

Why fats are so good for you and why you need them in your diet:

  • Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the body but when the body has ran out it will turn to the fat stores to find energy
  • Fats help maintain body temperature
  • They protect and cushion your organs and bodies tissue
  • Used to build new cells
  • Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluable vitamins which means without fat they cannot function properly
  • Essential for brain development and nerve function
  • They keep your hair, skin and nails beautiful and shiny, make sure your hair doesn’t fall out and isn’t all brittle and straw like. Protein helps with this as well

Another little thing I wanted to add to this post is that I have a bit of an announcement I guess urm I don’t know what you would call it. I have been thinking for a long while and I want to make a series of blog posts to do with anything mental health and anorexia recovery related. I have been in recovery for four years now and I have learnt A LOT over my time so as well as my recipes and my daily posts on this blog which I love doing so much once a week I will be doing posts on things so this week was why fats are good for you and I will also be doing things like my personal views on stopping counting calories, how to deal with friends/family who are on a diet, extreme hunger in recovery and so on. I want to be able to share my experiences with people and to help them. I would love it if you commented to say if you think this is a good idea and also if you have suggestions of posts I could do then I would love that so much. I have decided to call this series “the mental health project” because I think that’s a good all round general name for the sorts of topics I will be talking about.

Don’t be sad when it’s sunny

Hello everyone,

So as the title suggests the sun has finally decided to make a guest appearance where I am now. The weather has been having major mood swings recently so it was nice to get outside today and feel that sun on me. I think today has been one of those “rollercoaster”  days. One minute you are up feeling great and then the next moment it’s like you have been buried 10 feet under the sand and you honestly have no desire to get out.
I saw my CPN today and that plus weigh day is my two most traumatic days of the week. I know I only focus on the bad points. Or maybe they are good points but I turn them into bad points. But I am beyond sick of every time I go in for a weigh in the nurse goes WELL DONE!!!!!!! YOU HAVE GAINED. So what have you been doing differently? What have you been eating? It is just like no. Go away and stop trying to dig further into me than you already have. It’s like I have no privacy left. And then seeing my CPN might even be worse or maybe the dietician when she said I have gained more weight than usual and we need to keep an eye on that. That was the first time I ever saw this dietician and I had not gained more weight than usual. It only looked more because I hadn’t been weighed in three weeks when before that it was weekly. Or how about when the community nurse said to me today oh yes even I thought you had gained quickly.
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? You don’t know me. I have been living in my body for 19 years do not act like you know every single thing about the human anatomy you know nothing. I think if it hadn’t been for my mum then I would have had a full blown I don’t know what to call it but just picture tears and me screaming down the phone to my mum that I can’t do any of this anymore. That was what happened last week but luckily this week I managed to divert that huge scene so it was just a little scene although it was in a very public place  because I was meeting my mum for lunch but luckily I had her there. She is my golden star I am very lucky to have her.
So as I said, I met my mum for lunch today and after this mornings events it was all up from there. We both had a wrap and I had a falafel and yogurt one. It was SO delish I will definitely be eating it again and then for pudding I said a big fuck you to everyone and ate a big slice of brownie. It was slightly rich but divine and I enjoyed it all up so I will not let anyone’s opinions affect me ever because if I was at the low weight a few months ago I can tell you now I didn’t have one laugh or smile on my face ever. Today might have been hard but I took my dogs for a walk and I laughed and laughed. From One of them stalking a bird to the other one just barking at our feet because she wanted a treat.
I can have a good time now and I might be unhappy sometimes but unlike a few months ago there is always something good in my day and I am not going to let go of that ever.

Busy Sunday

Hello,
So today so far has been quite busy, this morning I finished my nanas birthday card and then I went out to buy some comfortable walking shoes as my feet keep getting sore when I take my dogs out. I mentioned earlier that I like card making although I wouldn’t say I am very good at it and i am still practicing. so here is the birthday card I made:

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And then after that I went and bought a set of three storage draws as I was really running out of space to put all of my craft things.

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There it is and also I put in a sneak preview of one of my draws 😛 Does anyone else like arts and crafts and things like that? I hope you are all having a lovely afternoon.